Readers may recollect that the author defined technology as the know-how to solve problems all sorts in man-made systems. We live in a world today full of man-made systems, society is also man-made. We have tried to harness natures systems to help us in our daily life. These systems are not man-made, they have come with the earth that we populate. Therefore make sure you don’t upset the equilibrium too much.

If there are eleven variables there are approximately 3.7 million ways of combining them. Variables in nature are far greater. How do we determine connectivity of the different variables in order to ensure we do not make it difficult to live comfortably in this world? With the increase in environmental temperature we find that the polar caps of ice are reducing in size so are the glaciers. If our comprehension of why these changes are taking place is flawed the consequences are going to be equally flawed.

We find it difficult to solve problems in man-made systems, which is bad enough. But look at what we are doing to mother nature. It is true that the earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones and other catastrophies assail us, what a big mess we are creating. Since technology is used to benefit us. Nature finds a new equilibrium. It follows that equally, technology can reverse in man-made systems stagewise to move back to acceptable equilibrium, and this may take much longer than we think. Further the costs may be prohibitive. If we exceed a certain limit it may be impossible.

The indiscriminate use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides is affecting the DNA of living creatures. Even subsoil water resources are diminishing and becoming non-potable. We need to have multi disciplinary teams with authority to deal with such matters, mere administrative expertise is inadequate. For example, should we go in for coal fuel steam production or coal gas? This will also require international coordination and deal with it as an economic factor whether our economists like it or not.

However, to do so we need to define current status in full detail (which is usually not done), otherwise we will end up increasing the mess. Look at the increasing the immunity to various diseases with our current variety of drugs. Technological development (change), which was pioneered by the old stalwarts following the revelation of the Quran, has to be a continuous process. Remember complexity will continue to increase whereas we prefer over simplification leading to throwing out the baby with the bath water!

As far as Pakistan is concerned, with the opening up of the northern parts of the country to China and Russia will call for very sober diplomatic relationing. This means the narrative has to be factually correct in detail in order to make it more difficult for those who wish to remain in control for all the time to come. It is clear that systematic development in order to improve the quality of life now crosses international frontiers. Will our present rulers understand that technology is no joke and it requires to be made use of according to a methodology usually unaccepted in Pakistan. Blind imitation gets one nowhere in the world today. Allama Iqbal who understood the way technology had developed in the West, said it would kill itself with a dagger of its own making. New problems call for new approaches which is how the Muslims captured the minds of men centuries ago. The application of the inductive or empirical method led to advancement producing characters such as Al Kindi, Al Beruni, Avicenna, Rhazes ….. who were responsible for transmitting firstly, the accumulated knowledge before their time along with their contributions leading to the Renaissance. Indeed the West understood their visionaries better we prefer not to. It is not without good reason Tennyson said:

I hold it truth with he who sings

To one clean harp in diverse tones

That men may raise on stepping stones

Of their dead selves to higher things.

Does this not echo the advice given by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to Muad later reflected by Rumi, picked up by Sir Syed, envisioned by Allama Iqbal and a firm foundation laid by the Quaid-e-Azam to advance further. We need to reflect why this has not happened.